Vets Question & Answer Section
This month is kindly supplied by: 9 Lives, The Cat Hospital
I have heard that changing cat litter when pregnant can be hazardous? Is this is an old wives tale as I have no intention of getting rid of my cat but I really don't want to knowingly harm my unborn child.
The Truth about cats, N.P.
All about toxoplasmosis and why you needn’t give up your cat if you are pregnant
Who is at
risk of toxoplasmosis?
In the above group toxoplasmosis can cause abortion, birth defects, encephalitis and other problems in the nervous system. Foetuses are at risk if the woman gets infected between her second and sixth month of pregnancy. If a woman has been infected before she got pregnant she will already have antibodies and cannot pass the infection onto her foetus. Unborn babies are only at risk if the woman contracts toxoplasmosis for the first time during her pregnancy.
Cats that become infected with toxoplasmosis rarely show signs of disease but can develop symptoms in the eye, liver, brain, gastrointestinal tract or muscles.
common is this infection?
do cats get infected?
do humans get infected?
contact with a cat increase the risk of infection?
I am pregnant how can I reduce the risk of transmission of toxoplasmosis
from my cat?
More importantly you should avoid eating raw or undercooked meat. Meat should be cooked to a minimum of 58 degrees for 10mins or 61degrees for 4 mins.Microwaving is not a safe way to kill tissue cysts as the heating is uneven.
Simple everyday hygiene measures will make it safe to own and enjoy your cat.
for this article has been taken from a Policy Statement issued by the
many doctors in Hong Kong still advocate getting rid of your cat when
you are planning a family.
To have a question answered by a local vet, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Where can I get a pedigree kitten?
Undoubtedly the best source is from a recognised and reputable breeder. You should be able to find breeders though any national organisation involved in setting or judging breed standards, through people that already own pedigree cats, your vet, specialist cat books and magazines, or by visiting cat shows.
Should I get two kittens so that they can keep each other company?
If you are likely to be away from home for much of the day, then consider getting two kittens as they will be able to keep each other company. Kittens who have been brought up together tend to remain friends as adults, particularly if they have been neutered. With more than one cat, you will have the additional pleasure of watching them play together.
How can I tell if my cat is happy?
A cat's body language tells a great deal about her state of mind. The contented cat relaxes with half-closed eyes, stretches out, and slowly extends and retracts her claws. Contented cats purr and often tread. A cat will prick her ears forward when alert, twitch them back when nervous, and flatten them back when frightened or aggressive. A cat's tail is a useful indicator of mood. A cat who runs to meet you will probably carry her tail high in welcome, sometimes with the very tip flicked over. A very gentle ticking movement of the tip denotes pleasure or anticipation. A stronger twitch or thrashing tail indicates a very irritated cat. Cats will fluff out their tails if they are alarmed and if they are about to strike!
Can you give me some advice about litter trays and cat litter, its one aspect of cat ownership I am not looking forward to?
The litter tray should be deep enough to hold plenty of litter and wide enough for an adult cat to make a complete turn. If you have a kitten, then the sides of the tray need to low enough for the kitten to be able to climb in; older cats prefer to use a tray with higher sides.
Cleaning out the tray doesn't have to be difficult or messy. Simply empty the soiled litter into a large plastic bag then scrub out the tray with hot water and soap. You can disinfect the tray by using a very dilute solution of bleach. Avoid detergents containing coal tar and carbolic derivatives, as they can be dangerous to cats. Always wear rubber gloves and keep the cleaning utensils separate from other household equipment. Pregnant women should never handle soiled cat litter (and should wear gloves when gardening); their unborn babies are at risk if they are exposed to the Toxoplasma parasite found in some cats faeces.
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